Hypertension or high blood pressure is the underlying cause of heart attacks or strokes. Majority of the people with high blood pressure are unaware of the condition. Biomedical engineers have been trying since long to develop a convenient device for blood pressure monitoring but are unsuccessful. Now, the researchers at Michigan state university have developed a prototype case, a possible game-changer that makes it possible to measure the blood pressure using a smartphone case via just a fingertip. Even though many mobile app devices that measure blood pressure are in existence, but they fail to provide accurate readings.
Traditional inflatable arm-cuff is the only available method for accurate measurement of blood pressure. But you need to go to a clinic or a pharmacy for blood pressure checkup. Even though you own the device it is inconvenient to carry it around. keeping in view of all the problems the scientists have developed a prototype smartphone case that rivals the accuracy of the traditional arm- cuffs. What’s more! you can check your blood pressure on the go and keep track of your BP levels. Without any further delay let’s dive into the intricate details of the smartphone case.
Prototype smartphone case:
The prototype unit consists of a sensor unit and other circuitry housed inside a thick 1-cm case. The device contains two sensors Optical sensor and the force sensor. The optical sensor lies above the force sensor. For blood pressure measurement users need to turn on the app and then press the finger against the optical sensor. They need to hold the smartphone at the heart level and should follow the instructions displayed on the screen. This makes sure that the user applies the right amount of pressure needed for measurement of blood pressure. In about the same time as the traditional cuffs, the sensors measure the blood pressure via a palmer arch artery in the fingertip. The data is then transferred to the app via Bluetooth and the figures are displayed on the screen. Although in the earlier studies the figures are not that accurate as that obtained from traditional arm cuffs. But the app calculates the average blood pressure by taking successive readings and enhances accuracy.
The scientists are now working on to improve the accuracy of the device and also working on to integrate the necessary electronics in just 1-mm thick. This makes it easier to integrate on the back of the mobile phone as a thin film so that it becomes a part of the standard protective phone case. So, in the near future, we can monitor our blood pressure using just a smartphone without paving a visit to clinic or pharmacy.
The Research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine